embroidered postcards from a place of war

Here are two stories of correspondence between soldiers and home. One of a father reporting receipt of a letter and “two of the most beautiful postcards [one with] silk embroidered pansies and other flowers hand embroidered on muslin”.  The other is a postcard sent as a thank you note for tobacco sent from a comforts fund in South Australia.

Via The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate – 31 July 1917 and The Bunyip (Gawler SA) – 1 November 1918 respectively.

Jack Sillar - postcardE A Fox - postcard from France

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has a collection of the French cards that you can view here.

WWI embroidered postcard

Nearly 100 years ago, this postcard was embroidered and then purchased by a soldier to send home to loved ones.  Stretcher bearer George Elliott mailed it to his parents.  He was killed at Messines Ridge in France in 1917.

The Rose Series of postcards

There’s not a lot to be found online about a photographer called George Rose and his impressive body of work within Australia and elsewhere.

I have selected a sample of the thousands of the Rose postcard series accessible online at the State Library of Victoria. These are out of copyright due to the uncertainty of the date they were taken.  Most are tagged c 1920-1954.  Here’s a link to photographs taken in Melbourne in the Olympic year of 1956 which are still in copyright and as such cannot be reproduced here.

Another source of these rich images is the work of Ron Blum who has collated George Rose’s work into two books and a CD.

At the foot of Deany’s Steps – Port Campbell   I think the emulsion damage adds to the charm of this one.

download (1)

St Kilda from the Pier

download (2)

Aerial View of Melbourne Cricket Ground

download (3)

The Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell  The inset colour photo via Wikipedia shows the collapse of one of the stacks in 2005.

download (6)


The State Library of Victoria holds over 7000 images (here) from the Rose Series. Other libraries have their own collections relevant to their state. Many of the photographs were taken by others after the deaths of George (in 1942) and Walter (George’s son and proprietor until he pre-deceased his father) in 1940.

The Argus – 21 January 1942

Obituary - George Rose

historical Australian postcards

Blame the Post Office
In June 1906, 600 postcards were languishing in the Dead Letter Office of Sydney’s GPO.
These days, genealogists can gain access to digital collections of postcards that are happily accessible on databases like Australian Historical Postcards on ancestry.com.
See reference sources below.

AustraliaHistoricalPostcards_13_1__189350848AustraliaHistoricalPostcards_189351030Source citation
Ancestry.com. Australia Historical Postcards [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Some of this collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.

Original data: Mary Martin Postcards (www.MaryLMartin.com), Perryville, MD, USA.